Survey shows strong support for nuclear energy


The National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) says most Indonesians agree with developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.


"BATAN carried out a survey and the result showed that 70 percent of people wanted to utilize the country's nuclear energy potential for national development," BATAN chief Djarot Sulistio Wisnubroto said in Mamuju, West Sulawesi, on Thursday as quoted by Antara news agency.


The idea to develop nuclear energy has long been controversial. The country's first nuclear power plant was to be built at the foot of Mount Muria on the northeastern coast of Central Java, but it failed after strong protests from local residents and anti nuclear groups.


Djarot said only 30 percent of Indonesians were against the development of nuclear energy for fear of the risks it carried.


"Therefore, the country's nuclear energy potential will be developed for national development," he said, but he gave no concrete timetable.


He said BATAN was taking steps to synchronize the management of nuclear energy with the country's 34 provincial administrations.


"Nuclear energy will be developed for use in various fields such as in the farming, animal husbandry and fishery sectors, to increase productivity and improve quality," he said.